What is the Gigabyte P35W v5 4K?
Hot on the heels of MSI’s 4K GS60, we have Gigabyte’s latest foray into the 4K market. The P35W is a model we last saw back in 2014 with their v2 update, but the v5 form is, apart from the chassis and the P35W model name, all new with a 15.6” UHD display, Intel Skylake i7-6700HQ CPU, GTX970M graphics, 16GB of DDR4 RAM and both a 128GB M.2 SSD and 1TB HDD. With a specification very similar to the MSI GS60 but coming in £200 cheaper at £1,399.99, it will be interesting to see how the two compare. Read on to see how this system fares…
Design and Connections
Compared to the extras such as the SteelSeries Engine and full colour keyboard backlighting we saw in MSI’s 4K GS60, the Gigabyte P35W v5 looks a bit basic here. There are no fancy bells and whistles at all save for an ambient light sensing backlit keyboard which is in white only. The keyboard itself does feel fairly comfortable to use and responsive, although coming so close to our MSI review we did much prefer that keyboard. The trackpad and buttons are also responsive, but the buttons are so close in level to the surrounding area that often, without looking, we found it took a fair few attempts to press in the right place.
The chassis is very slim at 20.9mm with a footprint of 385 x 270mm but it is pretty heavy, weighing in at 2.6kg. Far heavier than the 2.1kg of MSI’s GS60. 500g may not sound like a lot but it certainly feels noticeably weightier during use, mainly due to the much larger capacity battery Gigabyte has fitted. On the connection side of things, we have most of the latest bases covered. On the left we find 2 x USB 3.0 ports, RJ-45, SD card reader and audio jacks. To the right we have the power connector, a MiniDisplay port, 1 x USB 3.0 (USB charge) port, HDMI, VGA and a USB 3.1 (type C) port. No further connections to the rear or the front, with just the front giving us the DVD drive and the various LED indication lights.
- OS: Windows 10 64 Bit
- CPU: Intel® Core™ i7 Skylake-6700HQ (2.6GHz - 3.5GHz)
- Display: 15.6" UHD, (3840 x 2160) 4K IPS with Wide Colour Gamut
- Memory: 2 x 8GB DDR4 @ 2133Mhz
- Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX970M with 6GB GDDR5
Storage is provided in both SSD and HDD formats. The SSD is of particular interest as it is the first system we have reviewed that has the new M.2 PCIe SSD fitted. The 128GB NVMe Samsung MZVPV128 offers mouth-watering read speeds of up to 2000 MB/s and write speeds of up to 650MB/s. With our ATTO Disk Benchmark test we received a superb 2005MB/s read and 685MB/s write, almost bang on Samsung's quoted speeds. The HDD is a 1TB 7200RPM HGST Travelstar 7K1000 which tested at 145MB/s read and 139MB/s write in our tests.
Using the latest PC Mark 8 Storage test 2.0 that has recently been released to provide better support for NVMe SSDs, the workload traces are recorded from actual programs and thus not affected by differences in CPU or GPU performance. We got a score of 5079 with a storage bandwidth of 559MB/s and, as expected with this new NVMe SSD, the results were far better than anything we have seen before. The 128GB SSD equates to 107GB in Windows and arrived for testing with 77GB of free space and the 1TB HDD equates to 931GB in Windows. Manually timed from power on with a cold boot to the Windows desktop we get a reasonable average result of 15 seconds, not the quickest we have seen to date and is up there with the slowest of systems we have reviewed with an SSD fitted. Given the superfast NVMe M2 SSD we expected better here.
Is the 4K display any good?
Using SpectraCal software and our C3 Colorimeter, the maximum screen luminance was detected at 259 cd/m2. The screenshot above shows the pre and post calibration results. As you can see the pre check gave a fairly high ColorChecker error of 4.6 (an error level less than 3 is the target) and poor out-of-the-box GreyScale error of 6.96. Following the successful calibration, the ColorChecker error has reduced to just 2.86 with the GreyScale error down to 3.99.
Many thanks to SpectraCal for providing the software and C3 Colorimeter for use with our reviews.
‘Smart Update’ offers a very simple and quick way to ensure all the system drivers are up to date and, unlike our previous experience with very slow downloads, Gigabyte appears to have moved the server from the back of beyond to somewhere more local and the drivers downloaded very quickly. That’s about it for pre-installed Gigabyte software and other than those mentioned we also have XSplit Gamecaster which offers a very simple way to record and stream your gaming exploits and is integrated with YouTube, Twitch and UStream, PowerDVD 12 and the usual free 1-month trial of Office 365.
Is the audio up to scratch?
P35W v5 Battery Life
Battery Life Tests
|Powermark Battery Test||290 minutes|
|YouTube 4K, High Performance, 100% Brightness||120 minutes|
|YouTube 1080P, Balanced, 50% Brightness||200 minutes|
|Netflix 1080P, Balanced, 50% Brightness||229 minutes|
P35W v5 Benchmarks
|3840x2160 4K Resolution||FPS (Fraps)|
|Battlefield 4||High Settings||28|
|Battlefield 4||Ultra Settings||22|
|Sims 4||Medium Settings||81|
|Sims 4||Ultra Settings||49|
|Max Payne 3||High Settings||30|
|Max Payne 3||Maximum Settings||26|
|Metal Gear Solid 5||Maximum Settings||
|Metal Gear Solid 5||High Settings||28|
|1920 x 1080 Resolution||FPS (Fraps)|
|Battlefield 4||Ultra Settings||69|
|Sims 4||Ultra Settings||112|
|Max Payne 3||Maximum Settings||32|
|Metal Gear Solid 5||Maximum Settings||51|
The other results such as the PC Mark 8 Home Conventional of 2830, Unigine Valley 1.0 of 1541 and Heaven 4 of 1162 roughly compare to similar laptops with GTX970M graphics that we have reviewed with perhaps the PC Mark 8 score being a little lower than we would have liked. On the whole the gaming results show that this system is more than capable enough to play the majority of the latest games on 1080P, but sadly you can forget about 4K gaming.
Benchmark Score Summary
|Time to Desktop||15.04 Seconds||8|
|Super Pi @ 1M||10.89 seconds||9|
|3D Mark - Ice Storm 1.2||38939||4|
|3D Mark - Cloud Gate 1.1||18555||5|
|3D Mark - Fire Strike||6619||6|
|3D Mark - Sky Diver||18229||6|
|Passmark Performance Test 8.0||3699||6|
|Cinebench R15||Open GL 88.57FPS - CPU 667 CB||7|
|Unigine Heaven 4.0||1162||6|
|Unigine Valley 1.0||1541||6|
|PC Mark 8 - Home Conventional 3.0||2830||5|
|PC Mark 8 - Storage Test 2.0||5079||8|
System Noise and Heat
One issue we have always had with Gigabyte’s top spec laptops is they just can’t cope with the heat produced, resulting in a ridiculously noisy system or one that just gets far too hot for comfort. Here with the P35W v5 it is improving, with a chassis that uses Gigabyte’s ‘innovative Supra-cool technology’ that features dual heat pipes and dual fans for the CPU and GPU. As far as noise is concerned this does help to keep the system fairly quiet with a maximum 36dBs during our gaming and benchmark tests.
Heat on the other hand is still an issue. There are exhaust vents at the rear where the majority of the heat should be expelled to, but the underside does get extremely hot. Too hot to touch and far too hot for it to comfortably be on your lap. As you can see from the maximum CPU temperature of 99°C, the heat could be an issue over time.
- Stunning 4K Display
- Excellent specification
- Decent battery life
- Fairly quiet when under load
- System not capable of 4K Gaming
- Restricted gaming performance using battery power
- Gets very hot
Gigabyte P35W v5 4K Gaming Laptop Review
Should I buy the Gigabyte P35W v5 4K?At £1,399.99, Gigabyte’s 4K P35W v5 offers a lot for the money. The specification is top drawer with the latest Skylake i7-6700HQ CPU, GTX970M graphics with 6GB of GDDR5, 16GB of DDR4 and the outstanding 4K display. For those wanting a high spec system, this has a lot of positives, but unfortunately a few negatives too.
The 4K display provides stunning visuals and the system is powerful enough to not give you any issues during video playback, but 4K gaming is too much for this system - so it’s a maximum resolution of 1080P to get a decent playable frame rate. The battery life is very good, although gaming gives it a tough workout. The audio quality isn’t bad, but an area Gigabyte are still lagging behind MSI in, along with the heat issues.
What alternatives are available?As for alternatives, at £200 more MSI’s 4K GS60 is almost identical in terms of specification, apart from having double the SSD size, although not the latest NVMe SSD as we have here. The custom builders are the most likely alternatives with similar and slightly better systems available for around £1,500-1,600. If you can forego gaming, there are many cheaper alternatives with a 4K display, yet with a much reduced specification we would question just how well they may cope with 4K videos.
The Gigabyte P35W v5 excels in many areas, but does fall short in a few too. It doesn’t quite have the refinements and extras of MSI’s gaming laptops but doesn’t carry their price premium either. For £1,400 it does offer good value for money considering what you get. As such, the system does just enough to merit an AVForums Recommended award.
Value For Money
Our Review Ethos
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